Long Life

I wish I was a granny down in Gangnam

My knitting needles gaily cast aside

Giving the slip to God as to the hangman

Making life insurers boggle-eyed


I wish I was a nana in Samcheok

Seeing sixty in with wilful smile

But I’m a man (it’s just my bad damn luck!)

I wish I had their never-ending style


I wish I was a matriarch of Shinchon

With lotus ponds to tend, and sour tea

No sense of time departing, not to flinch from

The wind still blowing from the Yellow Sea


I wish I was an oldie dame in Seoul

With thirty years to juggle as I please

Feeling that summer’s really on a roll

No falling leaves to follow in the trees


When you go, I know you have to go

But all the same, I wish that I was thus:

A well-retired woman from Mokpo

We senior sons! What will become of us?


Click here for a Guardian story


23 February 2017

By 2030, life expectancy in South Korea will be 90 for women


Home/Join | List | Next | Previous | Random